Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
By the 14th century, the Byzantine Empire was, if not on the verge of actual collapse, at least seriously decadent and clearly on its last legs. The hungry wolves of Europe were preparing to dine on its corpse, and as a result the Byzantine army and its allies were constantly engaged in battles and skirmishes. In this story, a widow lives in the 14th-century Byzantine village of Doxobus with her son Xenos. She forms a relationship with a village elder, and when she gives birth to the elder's son, her son from her previous marriage is sent to live in a monastery. This is similar to his being sent to live in the streets, and is a sign that his mother either doesn't want him or is no longer able to keep him. When the boy reaches adulthood, he chooses the life of a soldier in the Byzantine army and swiftly rises through the ranks. In fact, as a reward, he is given the governorship of his native village, proving once again that success is the sweetest revenge.